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M

HEALTH| 24.02.2021

“Crossing the finish line makes all the efforts to prepare for a marathon worth it”

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Pablo Lucero, 42, is the founder of the BcnMadTriatlón sports club, where he has been a coach for the last 10 years. Dealing with risk and overcoming challenges are undoubtedly a part of his life. Pablo started competing in cycling at just eight years old. He later became a soccer fan, and several years ago he dove wholeheartedly into the world of triathlon. His passion for sport has led him to complete triathlons, marathons and 100 km trails.

His next adventure involves being part of the coaching team on the Kilómetros de confianza (Kilometers of confidence) campaign, for which we are seeking people who wish to challenge themselves by preparing for a marathon. Pablo Lucero is one of the specialists who will be advising, coaching and guiding the participants in this challenge.

 

Do you have a story you can share of how someone around you overcame a challenge through sport?

Thanks to the world of triathlons, I had the chance to meet Ramón Arroyo, who has multiple sclerosis. The film 100 Meters, starring Dani Rovira, is based on Ramón’s story. His is a brutal tale that deals heavily with the theme of overcoming challenges. A doctor told him that, before very long, he would be unable to walk 100 meters. However, despite this diagnosis, he ended up taking part in an Ironman Triathlon. Today, I’m lucky to have him as a great friend.

I recently finished a Half Ironman in Murcia to raise funds for La lucha de Abril (Abril’s fight). Abril is a young girl with an extremely rare illness that only five other people in the world suffer from. Sport has introduced me to some wonderful people with incredible stories of challenges being overcome.

 

How is sport related to confidence?

Confidence underpins motivation, which is vital in sports challenges. All great athletes have confidence in their work and their performance. They give 100 percent, even when things don’t go as planned. Without confidence, there is no success. That’s true not just in sport, but in all aspects of life.

Let’s say a person decides to start going running after a few years of living a sedentary lifestyle, or tries to finish their first race. Regardless of the distance involved, that takes a lot of confidence.

 

Can a sporting challenge help increase someone’s self-esteem? 

Of course. Even if something seems impossible for someone at first, with confidence, training and consistency it can become a reality.

After that, they’ll feel they can achieve anything. I myself have experienced that moment where I crossed a finish line, and though I didn’t get anywhere near my personal record, I felt tremendously proud that I didn’t give up.

 

Why is it important to have people around you to overcome a sporting challenge?

When I started out in the triathlon world about 15 years ago, I trained alone and went to competitions alone, but I felt I was missing something. Perhaps someone to tell my story to. That’s why I decided to set up a club so that my colleagues could take part in my races and I could participate in theirs.

I’ve always preferred being part of a team and I think that surrounding yourself with good people will help you achieve a lot more. It is certainly always easier when you’re in it together.

 

What is the most important thing someone who is thinking about preparing for a marathon needs to know?

It’s going to involve sacrifice, it’s going to be hard, there’ll be days where you feel tired and don’t want to put on your sneakers, but crossing that finish line will make all of your efforts worth it. It won’t be an easy challenge but it will be worth it. For sure.

 

How can we encourage those people who are hesitating to take the first step? 

To all people who like to run I say they should experience the feeling of crossing the line of a marathon, it’s amazing. I’ve finished longer races (100 km trails), but there’s something special about that distance of 42.195 km.

I would say don’t hesitate, and prepare well for the test. It is demanding and you have to arrive prepared, but I’m sure you will not regret it. I would like to encourage all the future finishers to keep going!

 

As soon as the hardest phase of the lockdown passed, many of us took to the streets to do sport. Are we now valuing outdoor physical activity?

As soon as the lockdown finished, what’s the first thing we wanted to do? What were our bodies screaming out for? For movement, activity… We needed to go out for a walk, to cycle, run… Our bodies spoke to us and told us that they needed to move.

I sincerely believe that it has been revealed that the human being is made to run. Many people began to take up the habit of running or walking and still haven’t given it up.

 

Overall, are we taking care of ourselves more?

I think so. Today we are more aware than we were a year ago that we need to be physically and mentally “strong.” Many people have begun training or resumed their training after these hard months, and that makes me happy. I love to meet people who have decided to take up different sports after this pandemic.

The fact is that many scientific studies support the fact that physical activity releases different hormones (serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, etc.) that directly influence our mood and therefore our physical and psycho-emotional well-being.